Red Devils win game one, lose series

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The magic came to an end for Maplesville baseball, as the Red Devils lost a best-of-three series to Brantley in the second round of the 2017 Class 1A playoffs.

It was all positives for Maplesville early on, as it grabbed a commanding nine-run lead and won game one 9-5.

The game one victory was masterful by the Red Devils in many ways both at the plate and on the mound.

“I thought our guys played loose and came out really looking to play competitive from the very first pitch,” Maplesville head coach Ab Argent said. “We had real good week in practice and I was starting to see some of that carry over into the game.”

Argent was quick to point out the calming presence that senior Tristen Antinoro was on the mound throughout the game.

“I thought it all started with Tristen [Antinoro] on the mound,” Argent said. “He threw lights out and we made some plays behind him, which was a huge key for us.”

He did not allow his first run in the game until the seventh inning, and also helped out his own cause with a solo home run in the fifth inning.

“I felt good from the start,” Antinoro said. “The playoffs just kind of bring it all together.”

It was the second long ball of the game for Maplesville, following a two-run shot by Grayson Bice in the fourth inning.

Both bombs carried over the left field fence, as Bice’s bounced off the football field house, while Antinoro’s pin balled around in one of the bed of a pickup truck.

The Red Devils continued to extend its margin and led 9-0 heading into the seventh inning.

“Once we got the momentum, it was hard to stop it,” Thad Hunter said. “Everybody was just sharing together as a team.”

Brantley made one final push that included five runs and forced Antinoro to be pulled from the game.

Bice came into pitch relief from his shortstop position and eventually worked out of the jam with consecutive strikeouts that froze Brantley batters for the final two outs of game one.

Despite the game one victory and playing at home, Maplesville was unable to finish the deal and lost game two 6-2, shortly after, and the rubber match 8-3 on April 29.

After scoring nine runs in game one, the Red Devils combined to plate five during the final two games.